Virtual events have become a hot topic when it comes to event planning over the last two years, and they haven’t shown any signs of slowing down.
Businesses and organizations of all types and sizes have been relying on virtual events to spread the word about new products and services, raise money for charitable causes, or just help their employees get together more to celebrate an achievement even without returning to the office.
So, by now, if you haven’t run a virtual event for your group or business, you’re probably considering one. Of course, the first question many people ask is…where the heck do I start?
Hosting your own virtual event isn’t nearly as intimidating as it looks – you just need a clear plan and the right event supplies!
How To Host Your First Virtual Event
Create a goal for your event
As it is with planning, well, anything, your first virtual event should start by defining a goal. What are you trying to accomplish with your event? Are you hoping to increase awareness of a product or service, or just expand to a broader audience? Is your event business-related or just for fun? Knowing exactly what you want to do ahead of time will make all the difference when it comes time to plan the finer details.
Find the type of virtual event that best meets your needs and goals
While it may feel like there’s a lot of different types of virtual events out there, a lot of them can be boiled down into a few main categories, including:
- Virtual fundraisers, allowing you to invite guests and participants to donate to your organization virtually without having to attend in-person.
- Employee events, such as awards ceremonies, holiday parties, and company-wide town hall meetings
- Product reveals, where your business can display a new product or service in a controlled live stream environment, allowing for greater interactivity than with a pre-recorded video
- Hybrid events, events which combine elements of traditional events (a small audience, a live reveal) with elements of virtual events (live chat, prerecorded video presentations). These events can be harder to plan due to the amount of moving parts, but they can prove to be a very rewarding experience for your guests.
Once you’ve decided on the perfect type of event for what you want to accomplish, the planning stages will be that much easier!
Find a platform
This can be a little trickier if you’re not the most technologically savvy, but finding the right platform to host your event can make all the difference when it comes to your guests being able to easily access and view your event. Especially if you’re hoping for additional features such as chat or video replay, this could impact the platform you choose to host your event. Check around to make sure you can find a hosting platform that meets your needs and will be easy for your potential guests to use and enjoy – it might be as simple as Youtube, or it could be as complex as a more private, customized solution.
Put a team together
Try as you might, going it alone is going to be more frustrating than anything, and even if you were trying to keep some aspects of your event a secret, you’ll need to have some help to get it all going. Find some teammates who you can delegate tasks to – someone who can schedule the various parts of your event, someone who can handle the technological side, someone who can round up all the event rentals you’ll need, and so on. When it’s all said and done, you’ll be glad to have their help!
Find the right studio
Odds are, most people reading this don’t have access to a broadcasting space that can handle the requirements of a virtual event, no matter what type of event you’re planning to hold. Your living room might work for the occasional Microsoft Teams meeting, but for something like this you might want to go a little bigger!
Take a look around your area and try to find a virtual event studio that can accommodate your needs, both space-wise and equipment-wise, to make sure your message is seen by all your attendees with as little headache (or dropped connections!) as possible. This goes double for your internet connection – running an event like this requires a lot of stable upload bandwidth, and your facilities will need a top-shelf internet connection to prevent any interruptions or sudden drops in quality during your live stream. Make sure your studio can offer a backup internet connection (like the kind we offer here at Bldg22!) that can carry the weight of your stream in the event of an issue, ensuring the show goes on.
After this, all there is to do is…hold the event! Your guests will be happy to see what you’re unveiling, your team will be happy to see each other again, and when it’s all over, you’ll be glad you did it.
(Of course, if you have any lingering questions or needs for your event, you could always contact Display Group to answer any questions or help you plan your event!)